Modality-specific processing of language within the basal ganglia. 

01 October 2016 → 30 September 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other biological sciences
Basale ganglia
Project description

The basal ganglia are a group of interconnected nuclei in the depth of the cerebral hemispheres, for which the role in motor function has been adknowledged for a long time. There is some evidence for their activity during perception, but this issue remains a matter of debate. This project aims to investigate their role in language processing, in order to verify the hypothesis that they are involved in the extraction of specific linguistic features, such as phonological and lexical categorization, semantic and syntactical processing. For this aim we will use direct electrophysiological registration of activity within deep brain nuclei of patients who undergo surgery for movement disorders, along with evoked response technology. This will allow an estimation of temporal activation within the basal ganglia, and hence the proposal of novel models of cerebral activation during linguistic processing, including cortical as well as subcortical areas. This will add to clinical knowledge on linguistic dysfunctions in diseases of the basal ganglia, but additionally to our fundamental understanding of interactions between humans and their environment.